trough in 2009, growth in real gdp has averaged only a little more than 2% per year. similarly, the job market has improved over the past three years, but at a slow pace. the unemployment rate, which peaked at 10% in the fall of 2009, has since come down 2%, to just below 8%. this is a welcome decline, but it has taken a long time to achieve the progress, and the unemployment level is still well above its level prior to the onset of the recession and the level that our colleagues and i think can be sustained once a full recovery is achieved. many features of the job market, including the historic high level of long-term unemployment, the large number of people working part-time because they have not been able to find full-time jobs, and the decline in labor force participation reinforce the conclusion that we have some way to go before the labor market can be deemed healthy again.